This article is part of our MLB Barometer series.
The All-Star break provides a welcome rest from the everyday grind of a long baseball season. It's a chance to reflect on the stats and standings while they finally stay put for a few days. It's also a chance to get serious on trade discussions, as both sides can step back and think without losing playing time from the players they hope to acquire.
Digging into the stats at this point in the season is generally rewarding because things have more or less stabilized. Flukes are definitely still possible (they're even possible over the course of an entire season), so it's always worth looking into the underlying numbers, but a player's performance in those process stats is generally well deserved at this point.
Deserving a performance isn't the same thing as projecting to perform the same in the future, however, which is what makes fantasy baseball both difficult and rewarding. The players who feature in the "Fallers" section of this column are typically those who have genuinely performed poorly, not just those who haven't gotten the desired results despite good underlying numbers. But if a player has been good in the past, there's always a chance he could be good again.
Projection systems at this point in the season are still heavily influenced by past performance, even for players who have performed far differently this year. Guys who have been legitimately bad this season but who still project to be decent based on strong past performances can be some of